Designer profile

Ling Tung University — Giving Clothes a New Lease on Life

The level of pragmatism with which young designers are approaching issues of sustainability becomes apparent in the “Laundry Clinic” project undertaken by students at Ling Tung University in Taichung City. Focusing on caring for clothes, rather than “just” washing them, this extensive project also takes a tactile approach to instruct about proper ways of treating textiles and removing stains. Over the course of 14 months, the students created a comprehensive set of instruction manuals using different fabrics and packing these in silk-screen-printed boxes. “Clear illustrations, the attention to detail and the intuitive take on the subject make this graduation project a significant design object”, the jury found.

Ling Tung University in Interview with Red Dot

Red Dot: What was the idea behind the “Laundry Clinic” project?

Ling Tung University: The process of washing laundry is like visiting a doctor, and we wanted to find out why clothes become “ill”. For this purpose, we gathered information about laundry and translated our findings into an easy-to-understand guide on how to combat stains.

Did the concept of sustainability play a role here?

Yes, of course. By emphasising that clothes can also become “ill”, we draw attention to the proper care for clothing and thus prevent them from being thrown away due to damage caused by inappropriate washing. Properly cared-for clothing lasts longer, so that less of it needs to be produced and the negative environmental impact of the clothing and fashion industries can be reduced.

What did your research look like? Did you conduct your own experiments or rely on experts?

Both. We read a vast array of textbooks and built up our own basic knowledge. Then we tried to visit different types of laundries. We discovered that when it comes to washing clothes, the crucial factor is preparing detergents according to the material of the clothing and the type of stain. We therefore began collecting these detergents and conducted a series of experiments as part of the project.

What role do haptics play in your project?

An important one. A variety of fabric swatches enabled getting a feel for individual textile materials and thus helped to understand the instructions much better.

“Giving Clothes a New Lease on Life”

All awarded projects

The success of Ling Tung University is mirrored in various distinctions in the Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design: